Joint account is a bank account shared by two or more individuals. Any individual who is a member of the joint account can withdraw from the account and deposit to it. Usually, joint accounts are shared between close relatives or business partners.
Joint accounts are often created in order to avoid probate. If two individuals open a joint account and one of them dies, the other person is entitled to the remaining balance and liable for the debt of that account.
Sometimes a temporary joint account is opened by two parties entering into a transaction where one party needs a security for the fulfilment of the transaction and the other party has to pay the sum (deposit), being the security for the other party. Any payment from the joint account, or return of the deposit from the joint account, will only be possible if both parties sign a joint written instruction to the bank. It is not possible that only one of the parties gives instruction for payments of the joint account.
Because (European) banks are not very interested in opening temporary joint accounts, as they are normally used for one transaction only, there are specialised parties or companies taking care of such accounts as trustees. A temporary joint account is normally closed after the transaction for which it was opened has been concluded. Temporary joint accounts are used in transactions in which large sums of money are involved as an alternative to letters of credit or escrow accounts.